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​Telstra CEO David Thodey announces retirement

After six years as CEO and a number of major changes at Telstra, the head of Australia's biggest telco is stepping down to be replaced by the company's chief financial officer, Andy Penn.

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Outgoing Telstra CEO David Thodey. Telstra

The CEO of Telstra has announced he will step down in May after six years in the top job, to be replaced by the company's current chief financial officer, Andrew Penn.

David Thodey joined Telstra in 2001 to head up the company's mobile business, before replacing chief executive Sol Trujillo in 2009. Telstra has advised that he will stay on in the business until August to ensure a smooth transition to Penn's leadership.

During Thodey's time at the helm, the company has more than doubled in value, from AU$40 billion to AU$80 billion, and has undergone a significant shift in its public image as it reshapes from national telco and fixed-line behemoth into a more digital-savvy mobile provider.

This shift was exemplified by a massive re-brand in 2011 which saw Telstra ditch its traditional blue and orange logo for a brighter multi-coloured image that is now ever-present across billboards, TV ads and Telstra's social media accounts.

The brand is also targeting a younger market -- particularly with tie-ins to its Telstra 'Thanks' program, which has been a major sponsor for concerts from the likes of Katy Perry and One Direction.

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David Thodey tweeted a picture of his replacement this week. Screenshot by Claire Reilly/CNET

David Thodey also steered the company through a number of major developments with the National Broadband Network, including an AU$11 billion deal in 2011 to decommission its copper network and lease infrastructure to NBN Co.

Prior to coming to Telstra, incoming CEO Andy Penn worked as group CEO of insurance company AXA Asia Pacific, taking on the Telstra CFO role in 2011.

In mid-2014, Penn's standing within the company was bumped up further when he took on the role of Group Executive International, leaving him in a prime position for future succession plans. Speaking about the leadership transition, David Thodey was positive about Penn's appointment.

"We have provided customers with outstanding connectivity choices, a world class mobile network and new technology to make their lives easier," he said. "Andy is ideally placed to keep Telstra on that journey and I'm delighted he has been appointed."